By Chris Seiter

Updated on April 9th, 2021

One of my biggest pet peeves is when a woman in the middle of No Contact comes up to me and asks,

“Chris, my exes birthday is tomorrow. Am I allowed to break the no contact rule to wish him one?”

Now, the important part to grasp right away is that wishing your ex a happy birthday isn’t so much the issue here.

It’s the fact that women will use it as excuse to talk to their ex when they are in the midst of a no contact rule.

Oh, and in case you didn’t know what the no contact rule is here is a quick refresher,

The No Contact Rule = A Period of time where you don’t talk to your ex on purpose. 

Now, the no contact rule is kind of a big deal here on Ex Boyfriend Recovery because it is essentially the foundation upon which every “ex recovery” campaign is built.

It doesn’t matter if you want to get him back or simply get over him, the no contact rule is going to be present.

Lets talk numbers for a second.

Did you know that in my own independent research looking at all the success stories here on Ex Boyfriend Recovery over 70% of women who have gotten their ex back have utilized a no contact rule in some way shape or form.

That is insane.

But lets take it a step further.

Did you know that every single woman who has gotten her ex back in our Private Support Group has utilized no contact.

(That’s 100% if you can’t count 🙂 .)

But what does any of this have to do with wishing your ex a happy birthday?

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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The No Contact Rule And Happy Birthdays

I have made my case for why the no contact rule is essential for getting an ex back (if that is what you want.)

But do you want to know what destroys a no contact rule faster than anything.

Breaking it and then having to start over again from scratch.

Not a lot of people know this because they mostly take my advice at face value and just assume that things will remain the same throughout but the no contact rule can actually lose effectiveness every time you start it and then stop it.

Think of it like seeing a movie for the first time.

The experience of watching a movie for the first time is going to be the best. It’s going to lose a bit of it’s punch the next time you watch it and then the next time and so on and so forth.

Well, the same type of logic is going to apply with the no contact rule.

The most effective that it is ever going to be on your ex is when you try it on them for the very first time.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

But lets say that you break it for some inexplicable reason and decide to start over again.

While the no contact rule can still be effective it won’t be as effective as the very first time you tried it.

Get it?

So, where do happy birthdays come into play here.

Well, society has this rule that it’s very important for you to wish someone a happy birthday. I mean, looking at my own Facebook profile the vast majority of people who wished me a happy birthday are people who I haven’t talked to in YEARS!

Therefore, it makes a lot of sense that a lot of men and women are quick to break the no contact rule just to wish their ex a happy birthday.

However, I still haven’t gone into one of the major problems that we have here at Ex Boyfriend Recovery with the no contact rule.

The Major Problem We Have With The No Contact Rule

You see, getting people to try the no contact rule isn’t our problem here at EBR.

On the contrary, after I explain the benefits to most people they are ready to sign up.

The problems lies in the fact that the vast majority of the people who try it simply cannot stay in it.

They break it.

And after you look at the science of it, it makes a lot of sense.

Not a lot of people know this but after you go through a breakup the part of the brain that lights up and becomes active is the exact same part of the brain that lights up and becomes active in a drug addict.

If you have ever wondered why people going through heartbreak exhibit many of the classic signs of “withdrawal” well, that’s why!

Now, the no contact rule takes someone in that state of mind and forces them to create a new habit where they aren’t engaging in their addiction, their ex.

Rather, they are flat out ignoring them.

Of course, this also explains why so many men and women have trouble with it.

How many drug addicts are able to quit cold turkey?

The Answer = Not A Lot

I have found that most of the clients I work with who actually try implementing the no contact rule will fight every step of the way to look for an excuse to break it.

Do you see where I am going with this?

And that is where birthdays come into play.

What Happens When You Break The No Contact Rule To Wish Your Ex A Happy Birthday

Lets switch gears for a bit and talk about the most likely outcome that will occur by breaking the no contact rule to wish your ex a happy birthday.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

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One thing that I am really big on when it comes to talking to your ex is mapping out his or her potential responses to your text messages.

I find it’s often helpful to do this fun exercise so you can make the most of your interactions with your ex and believe me that really matters because in the grand scheme of things you only have a small amount of chances to really rebuild attraction.

So, lets do this fun exercise with a happy birthday text.

Here is the scenario.

You have been in the midst of a no contact period for 12 days and it just so happens that your exes birthday is on day 13. You debate back and forth on whether you should wish them a happy birthday and ultimately decide on the fact that you should do it.

So, day 13 rolls around and you send the fairly basic “happy birthday text” looking something like this,

Now, the way I see it is that there are three ways that your ex can respond to this.

The Basic Response


This is the most basic response you will get (and probably the most likely outcome.)

People are hardwired to say “thanks, “thank you” or some variation to being told happy birthday and therein lies the problem. Why would you subject yourself to lessening your position for a “thanks.”

This is the best outcome you can hope for and that in and of itself is depressing.

The Negative Response

If you get this response then it is pretty clear that you shouldn’t have broken the no contact rule.


Because if your ex is literally sitting there and asking you,

“Hey, why are we talking?”

It clearly means that they are still holding some serious resentment towards you.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

So, essentially what you will have done here is ended a no contact rule which has an added benefit of calming them down to have your ex tell you to f*ck off basically.

The No Response

For some reason I feel like I would fall into this category personally.

Some breakups cause people to use their own silence against you.

So, by wishing your ex a happy birthday and having them not respond to you it is their subtle way of letting you know,

“Hey, I saw your text but you are so beneath me I am not going to even give you the most basic response.

Ok, here is the point I am trying to drive home for you.

Breaking the no contact rule to wish your ex a happy birthday will do nothing to advance your position.

In fact, all it will end up doing is worsening it.

Nevertheless, I feel it would be short sighted of me to not take a look at the other argument.

The Final Conclusion: Should You Wish Your Ex A Happy Birthday

Here is a sad truth.

The “get your ex back” niche is full of shady characters.

They won’t give away any of their “tricks” for free (not that their tricks are anything revolutionary) and I feel like half of them are just scam artists.

Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean I haven’t made a few friends over the years.

On the contrary, I would say that probably one of the best friends I have made in this space is a fellow by the name of Brad Browning. Now, Brad is really interesting in the fact that he is one of the very few “breakup coaches” willing to put his face on camera which you will find is extremely rare in this day and age.

Anyways, a few months ago Brad came to me with this really interesting idea.

Hey man, how would you like to do a Brad Vs. Chris video where we take questions from our audience and give our perspective?

Needless to say, I was in!

So, we filmed this beauty together,

Now, what a lot of people don’t know about this is that we didn’t know how the other was going to answer the questions that were chosen at random and we found that we disagreed on one thing in particular.

Happy Birthdays!

No seriously, scroll to 16 minutes and 07 seconds into the video and you can hear me making my argument for the fact that you shouldn’t break no contact to wish an ex a happy birthday and you can hear Brad making his that you should.

Honestly, I think it is the most comprehensive talk that has maybe ever been done on the subject.

So, who is right?

Well, I am….

No, ultimately who is right is up to you (but I’m right 😉 .)

Let me just end by reiterating what I was saying in the video versus Brad.

I think it is a huge mistake to break the no contact rule to wish your ex a happy birthday.

Of all the things that you can say to your ex to get them to want you back “happy birthday” isn’t going to be it.

Instead, all breaking the no contact rule to wish your ex a happy birthday will accomplish is ruining any progress you have already made.

You will essentially be giving into your addiction of talking to your ex and lower the no contact rule’s effectiveness.

Just sayin!

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158 thoughts on ““Can I Text My Ex On His Birthday?” Let’s End This Discussion Right Now”

  1. Clare

    November 8, 2023 at 6:19 pm

    I’m in NC for past 8 days (had a 2 yr relationship) MY birthday in 4 days. If I get a happy birthday txt or card what do I do as they are a very caring person.
    Then in two weeks it’s THEIR bday which I wasn’t going to contact them. We are in our 50s.
    Helpful advice would be great. Thx

    1. Coach Shaunna

      November 12, 2023 at 7:11 am

      Hi Clare, we do suggest that you do not reach out to them on their birthdays – when in no contact and this still applies, if you get a message from them on your birthday then you can reply with a generic “thank you” as you would to anyone else.

  2. Grace

    November 1, 2023 at 6:20 am

    Hi my ex blocked me 2 weeks ago without any explanation or reason didn’t even break up with me although like I said he blocked me everywhere. I tried to reach out after the breakup and ask why he did what he did but he just gives me the silent treatment. I’ve been doing no contact for a week. His birthday was yesterday. I really wanted to wish him a happy birthday even though he blocked me everywhere but I did not bother to do so even though I wanted too so bad to see if maybe he’ll reply this time. Did I do the right thing not wishing him a happy birthday?

    1. Coach Shaunna

      November 9, 2023 at 5:03 pm

      Hi Grace, yes you did the right thing by not reaching out for his birthday – it is not going to magically change his mind about being with you. However, you need to look at the actions your ex has taken here where they haven’t even got the respect to break up with you just ghost you! 45 days NC minimum while working on yourself in the mean time.

  3. Hazel

    October 18, 2022 at 12:56 am

    my ex and I broke up on 11oct last week…he actually dumped reason being he haven’t gotten over his past experiences n needs time,slot since then I’m on NC and on the 24thOct it’s his birthday,Do you think it’s inpriopriate for me to plan to wish him a HBD! on the coming day, we on good terms but I’m not okay I’m broken n unsure coz I still love him wholeheartedly to point of thinking to gift him some on top of wishing him,Any advice?

  4. K

    September 23, 2022 at 10:32 pm

    It’s my ex of nearly a years birthday in 30 mins. I’m sat here feeling sad and lonely and contemplating whether to send the happy birthday text tomorrow. 10 days ago he texted me and I read and ignored the message. I want to make it look like I’m not ruthless and still care about him by sending the text, but I have no means with getting back together with him, even though I ended it but didn’t want to. He has disrespected me and controlled me too much to go back. From reading this, I think I’m going to not text him. He has been doing things in school to show off to everyone and has painted me in a negative light (when he is in the wrong and even said himself he is) so I am not going to give him the satisfaction of wishing him a happy birthday . I just need to finally let go and this was the one thing holding me back. Thank you so much! – K xx

  5. Rebecca

    August 30, 2022 at 10:06 pm

    Hi I’m Rebecca. I have been having this no contact rule lately like almost getting to two weeks with my ex So he did something that I didn’t like so I was trying to convince him For a change he ended up acting like a fight he then started criticizing blaming things on me and it was awful that I only wanted to cool it off by telling him I’m sorry can you forgive me? He didn’t reply my last message and when I saw the ignore I never texted him again and up till now cz he knows I’m always beening to first to text him but this time I had to put an end to it. And we have had so much together for the past 11 years I did all I can just to make him know that I will never leave him but his not encouraging me and my body has stayed connected with him that I can’t love any other man i don’t know if he feels the same way with me. I just wish he could change so we could start for a new beginning and willingly to tell me I’m sorry you are the best person that has ever loved me. Please help me.

  6. Lisa

    November 19, 2021 at 11:36 pm

    How long should we do the no contact with an ex if I broke up with him but I miss him? We was best friends for 9yrs and in love and got engaged long distance and planned to marry 2yrs ago. Should I wish him happy bday tomorrow or keep ignoring him? He hasn’t reached out at all in 20 days to me

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      November 25, 2021 at 9:52 pm

      Keep ignoring him Lisa, you need to complete a 45 day NC

  7. Lisa

    November 19, 2021 at 11:32 pm

    Should I wish my ex a happy birthday tomorrow ? We haven’t spoke in 20days. I ended the relationship and told him not message me I needed to move forward with my life but now I miss him. We we’re together 9yrs long distance in love and engaged but went all down hill. Should I continue NC? Can I say happy bday? How long should I do NC till I give up? Any advise?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      January 10, 2022 at 8:01 pm

      Continue your NC do not reach out on birthdays. Your NC should be at least 30 days in that time I would suggest that you be sure to show you are living your life and are happy. He will be more surprised that he didn’t hear from you than having a general text from you on his birthday after that length of relationship.

  8. Kate

    November 7, 2021 at 10:32 pm

    I’m curious about other important events. For instance, my ex’s one year sober date. I was a very big part of the sobriety journey.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      November 17, 2021 at 10:26 pm

      Hi Kate, I would suggest not reaching out about this, even though it may be important you do not want to be the person to bring that up if he is trying to focus on other things on that day. It is an achievement, but it is how he chooses to deal with it is what matters. If you are in NC then you do not reach out at all.

  9. Kendra

    July 29, 2021 at 8:19 pm

    My boyfriend and I broke up july 24th. We stopped talking july 27th. We dated for two years and were best friends. We ended it because he told me “I can’t love you and treat you the way you deserve to be treated because I don’t love myself.” We were BOTH crying and took it to heart. His birthday is in 18days, and I feel i have to break the NC rule to tell him happy birthday. He doesn’t even want to celebrate his birthday, his mental health is the lowest ive ever seen. I feel it would be wrong of me to not tell him happy birthday. Right?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      August 8, 2021 at 10:49 pm

      Hi Kendra, no you do not wish your ex a happy birthday if you are in a no contact.

  10. Vale

    June 23, 2021 at 10:42 am

    We didn’t break up on good terms and since then we’ve not been talking to each other at all even though he commented on one of my Facebook posts and I had to use the love reaction I used on every other comment just so he wouldn’t think I’m beginning to see him the say way as everyone else,that’s about 2months now .Now, His birthday is on the 28th of June…. Would you advise I send him a birthday message?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      June 28, 2021 at 8:14 pm

      Hi Vale, have you completed a NC? If you HAVE completed a NC then you can comment a generic Happy birthday on his social media post, but I Would not personally text him as your reach out – you need to use Chris’ methods if you want this to work.

  11. Natasha

    June 1, 2021 at 7:57 pm

    Hey EXB ,my boyfriend and I broke up on the 1st of May but continued to talk until the 10th of May ,that’s when I showed him how heartbroken I was ,but i decided to do the NC rule ,on the 17th of May He blocked me on WhatsApp we wasn’t even talking ,I panicked I sent him a “is that Goodbye” well he didn’t respond since then we haven’t been talking so started the NC afresh from the day he ignored me ,on the 18th of June is his birthday and the NC ends on the 17th of June is it appropriate to send the Happy Birthday message?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      June 1, 2021 at 8:31 pm

      Hi Natasha, I would suggest that you add a week to your NC and do not reach out on his birthday.

  12. Lola

    May 10, 2021 at 4:11 pm

    After me going on a no contact with my ex for a month now,, My ex sent me a Happy Mother’s day text message that I replied politely and casually saying Thank you. My question is assuming he won’t reach out again .. is it appropriate to wish him happy father’s day message ?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      May 13, 2021 at 9:13 pm

      Hi Lola, if you are in NC at the time then no do not reach out but if you are out of NC and share children then yes send a message.

  13. Yehya

    April 28, 2021 at 10:43 pm

    My girlfriend/ex now decided to break up on good terms with me about 20 days ago after our 10 11 monthes long distance relationship(the breakup reason is that she’s tired of the distance and afraid of the long term effect of it). I did the dumb thing and talked to her after 2 days because I had lots of things to say because our last talk was very short (only 14 min so I was afraid she would think I let her go easily). When I talked to her she totally refused, and then I decided to really not talk to her even tho I’m missing her so much. Our 1 year anniversary is in one week(which makes it almost one month after the break up) and her birthday is in 2 weeks. So I’m not sure if I should text happy birthday to her or not. Note that she promised me that we’ll see each other when I go to my hometown and this will be after 2 or 3 monthes (it’s there where she lives too but I’m an immigrant in another country). So should I text her a “happy birthday” as a sign of good terms or no?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      April 30, 2021 at 11:21 am

      Hi Yehya, I would suggest that you continue No Contact until after her birthday if you are going to follow this program.

  14. nickel

    February 13, 2021 at 4:29 pm

    I’m going on a week of no contact. She broke up with me in January on the 15th. I’ve tried my hardest to keep doing no contact and it ends up being broken because I miss her bunches. But last week I really tried it good and deleted her on all social media just so I wouldn’t really keep tabs on her. I’m doing better! But her birthday is coming up and valentines is a day before her birthday… Both days I would love to spend time with her. Unfortunately I think after reading this I won’t break it. I have no idea how to talk to someone about these problems and I’m kinda glad I found this artical. Thanks…

    We ended on good terms! but lots of crying… We were on 3 years about to be 4 this year. She was my bestfriend and we had two cats. But left them here. I’m also really scared of thinking of these scenarios where she will ask for her cat back. (storm, mines karma) but the reality is they are mine and I ‘ve been loving, feeding, and caring for them since she left. I found one and she found the other. She hasn’t been in touch with me and has been ghosting me for the past 2-3 weeks. I don’t want to say it but I need these cats and these cats need each other. They are best friends, I’d be more than heart broken if something happened to either one of them.

  15. Kim

    February 12, 2021 at 2:23 pm

    My ex and I dated for 8 months. We lived together and broke up for nearly 2 months because of my anger. I texted her with anger that hurt her. She’s a very stubborn lady. I made 2 weeks NC and then initially contacted with her. She texted me cold and hot sometimes. We met up for coffee and dinner 3 times. She was a bit jealous when she asked about my love life. She said she needs time and space and consider me as a friend. I screwed up by rushing her when I came over her house trying to kiss her and she pushed me away hard. I begged and pleaded. She rejected anything I said. She said I should date the others and don’t look down my self esteem as she doesn’t need me to come back to treat her well because now she finds happy to be single to focus on working and meditation. She’s stressed cuz of her job so she got negative emotions. I texted her to apologize and now I’m in the 5th day of NC as I’m deciding to take 30 days NC. This time is Lunar New Year, should I text her for the wish and remain the NC?!
    Thanks so much!

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      February 17, 2021 at 3:26 pm

      Hi Kim, no do not reach out you need to stick with your NC and from the information above your NC needs to be 45 days not 30.

  16. Roxanne Welch

    November 9, 2020 at 2:22 pm

    I haves dated my BF for 5.5 years. He broke up with me suddenly via an email. I think it is because he is interested in dating his neighbor. I was on day 33 of the 45 day NC period when my mom passed away suddenly from Covid. I broke the NC period to reach out to my ex. He was supportive and treated me like a damsel in distress. That seemed to work well for about a week and a half.

    However, here is where things took a turn. We have an upcoming vacation planned in a month that we had both paid money into. I took the opportunity of us texting and speaking on the phone to bring up the trip in conversation. He told me that he was “thinking of just going by himself”. I replied that I had been looking forward to this trip for months. (The trip is to another country that has been closed due to Covid.) We finally were getting the chance to go on the trip. However, he unilaterally decided I wasn’t going.

    I made the big mistake of following up our conversation by texting him how much this hurt me because I had been looking forward to the trip for many months. He of course never responded.

    Should I go back into a 30 day or a 45 day NC?? What do you suggest I do now? I feel so stupid.


    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      November 9, 2020 at 7:55 pm

      Hi Roxanne, you would need to go back into a no contact for 30 days – unless he gets into a new relationship which would mean you need to follow 45 days.

  17. Anne

    November 2, 2020 at 9:24 pm

    My ex and I broke up 2 months ago and haven’t talked since (no contact). I miss him and want him back but don’t know where to start. We broke up because he had some mental health issues that he needs to deal with. Although I was super upset when we first broke up, I’ve come to think it was the right decision. He had some issues that probably couldn’t have been properly worked out if we were still together. When he was healthy, it was amazing between us. But for some reason, his mental health started to deteriorate. I don’t want him in my life if he isn’t continuously doing stuff to promote his mental health. I used to be super depressed and overweight, but I’ve made so much progress in the last year mentally and physically (60 pounds down! and my confidence has never been better) and I plan on continuing to make progress. To me, mental health is a continuous battle, stop fighting and you can be sucked back into your own negative thoughts. It’s his birthday today, I’m not going to reach out to say anything because I don’t want to deter his progress. I do, however, want to talk soon to see how he is and if he’s made any progress in bettering his mental health, but don’t know where to start.

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      November 3, 2020 at 7:39 pm

      Hi Anne, as you are doing well and want him back then you are going to have reach out first to start your contact and build rapport.

  18. Emily D

    October 30, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    Hey I’m just starting to get back into the contact phase with my ex. He’s been responding very well so far but I’m taking it slow. Should I wish him a happy birthday?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      October 31, 2020 at 3:04 pm

      If you are in the texting phase, then yes you can send a birthday message. You need to have had a couple of conversations before doing this.

  19. Kaanch

    October 26, 2020 at 10:08 pm

    Ex broke up a year ago after his birthday. He contacted me after break up and stayed in touch but I just didn’t want to be his friend, and he wanted to be my friend. I shared my feelings and said can’t be friends he did not step up to reconcile and pulled away for 3 months then I wished him happy birthday last week and he just responded “Thanks”, do I go no contact again with him? Shall I give him realistic time and space to initiate conversation? If so, how long?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      October 28, 2020 at 4:27 am

      Hey Kannch, we don’t recommend reaching out for a birthday text, as the “thanks” is generic and doesn’t get anyone interested in a conversation. Yes you need to NC properly, where you spend some time working on yourself, read articles and become UG. Then reach out with a text that Chris suggests in his articles.

  20. BG

    October 20, 2020 at 1:41 am

    I needed to see this. It’s his birthday today. I want to reach out but I’m in week 7 of no contact. It wasn’t implied, discussed, anything. I just know that it’s the best way to recover. I did slip up and send him a gift via his favorite store. Ugh!! I know!! But I haven’t contacted him today and this helped me remember why.

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